When Ministry Merges Into the World

I was headed home after procuring my afternoon cup of coffee from Panera, one of our ministrieslab partners when a car coming from a merge lane never slowed down. She didn’t even look before she continued her trajectory into our lane, despite the yield sign. It was a scary moment for me because I didn’t have time or space to hit my brakes. Thankfully, there was a bread truck in the next lane who was paying attention to what was happening and slowed down so I could move into the left lane and let her pass.

I saw her raise a hand in recognition of the mistake she had made in not slowing down. As she looked in her rearview mirror, she realized what she had caused by concentrating just a little too completely on getting where she was going. Sound familiar? How many times have I been in such a rush from one thing to another that I didn’t I almost ran over people in my path?

It’s something we often hear ministers preach about: the disconnect we have from our time fellowshipping in the church and our time living and being members of our community. If we are called to follow after Christ, we are not called to simply show up to church, but instead to have our ministry merge into our lives, so that what we say we believe and how we speak to each other and how we interact with our neighbors all circle around reflecting the love of Christ.

But merging ministry into our lives means yielding and looking to see who is coming. It means paying attention to the people we encounter. It might mean buying gas for someone who is short on money or cooking dinner for a neighbor or picking up someone’s lunch or dinner check. Because it’s in those moments that we merge our beliefs with our actions that our faith becomes something tangible and visible. It’s in that moment when ministry merges into the world that Christ is resurrected and lives are transformed.